For some students, meeting people is easy and comes naturally. For others, it can be difficult. You may be asking, “Where do I begin?” Making friends and meeting new people is a useful and life-long skill to develop.

Deep down, everyone longs for close relationships.The university experience and environment brings opportunity and potential to form such friendships. At the least, it is good time to expand your horizons and meet people with different backgrounds, even if they don’t become a lifelong friend.

Getting Involved in Campus Life

From my own experience, the best recommendation I can make about meeting people is to join a club or volunteer somewhere on campus. And I don’t mean just signing your name and paying the $2 club dues. Get really involved! By getting involved with an on-campus club, you’ll get to meet people outside of your residence, which is great because there will come a time when you can’t stand anyone on your floor. You’ll also meet upper-year students, which is great because they are a great resource for help and advice. (They are also the ones who will ‘de-brainwash’ you and give you the truth about all the myths that universities instill into all the new students.)

Meeting People in Your Classes

The best way to meet people is to talk to them in your classes. Take the initiative instead of hoping for someone to say hello first. A good way to start talking to somebody in class is to just ask them about an assignment or a reading, or just the class in general. Make a point of sitting with new people until you find a few that you feel you can connect with. By the time you’re well into the term, you could know enough people to form a great study group which is also practical, helpful and fun (it can sure beat studying on your own!).

Meeting People in Bars

Lots of students meet new people at bars as well. While strong relationships are better built in campus clubs and in residence, I cannot recall anyone forming great relationships with someone at a bar. For many, this activity has as its purpose finding superficial relationships built on the physical dimension. But in reality, this is not the most solid foundation for building the kind of relationships that really satisfy at a deeper level.

Dealing with Loneliness

I heard a friend tell me once that if they were ever feeling lonely, they would just go and sit in a really busy part of campus and try to read a book. At first they would feel sad and lonely, but then more and more people they knew would stop by and say hello, and then they didn’t feel so lonely anymore.And even if you take all this advice and fill your world with people and friends by taking initiative to get involved in campus and academic life, you may still find a struggle with loneliness and feeling disconnected from others.In this time of transition until some of your acquaintances and new friendships take a deeper root, you might find it helpful to call and talk to someone close to you from home.

So try to get involved, and really dig into university life, because there are so many experiences waiting for you. School is the only time in your life when you are going to be exposed to so many diverse, interesting and intelligent people on a day to day basis. Be sure not to let them pass you by.

Tyrone says he was really shy when it came to meeting people at Queen’s University. Copyright 2002, iamnext. May not be used without permission.

This article was written by: T. Warner

Photo Credit: Vadim Fomenok